October 1, 2009

10,000 Maniacs//Katrina's Fair

Uh oh. Now I'm on a very specific kick: this certain kind of sometimes a bit folky, sometimes a bit post-punk-inspired rock from the 80s. Can anyone stop me? I doubt it highly.

The stage is perfectly set for my big reveal. My very favorite band from the end of middle school until about the end of high school was the 10,000 Maniacs, who were pretty much just breaking up when I got into them. I know this is extremely nerdy to admit publicly (new tag: I Am Not Ashamed), but I fucking loved them with a passion that is almost unheard of for anything in my life now, let alone some fucking band that basically became adult alternative. That said, BECAME is the key word here, because they definitely didn't start off that way. They started off worshipping New Order and vintage reggae. They stood with bands like R.E.M. and The Pixies at the head of the college rock movement (which really was the forbearer of the later schism into indie rock (originally the righteous path, now totally irrelevant ) and alternative (the dark side?)).

The band was really broken by, you guessed it, the ultimate music diviner John Peel. Hope Chest, a compilation of some of their oldest material, is a stellar album. Amazing lyrics with vivid imagery. Weird sounds. Experimental recording.

Sort of sidenote: In 2001, I had the pleasure of doing a phone interview with Natalie Merchant for The Michigan Daily. We chatted for a few hours. She told me to read a book called Germs, which I finally picked up at The Newark Public Library booksale this year. It was really awesome to get to talk to a childhood idol. And although some of her solo albums are a bit corny, preachy and out of fashion, I kind of still think she's the jam. She's been amazing at supporting political and artistic causes in the world, which can be seen on her website. Apparently she's also in the studio again.

Katrina's Fair.mp3

Miss Lenora P. Sinclair,
Early for coffee in the pool.
"I'm resituating all your words."
And paragraph.

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